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Facebook's parent company to launch 'metaverse academy' in France

The school’s goal in its first year will be to train for free around 100 students as specialist immersive technology developers and support and assistance technicians.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

FACEBOOK’S PARENT COMPANY Meta and a French digital training firm will launch a “metaverse academy” in France for the new academic year, the two organisations said today.

The metaverse refers to an immersive digital world that aims to recreate real life via augmented or virtual reality and take the web from 2D to 3D.

Meta has pitched it the internet’s next great technological development.

The school’s goal in its first year will be to train for free around 100 students in two roles, specialist immersive technology developers and support and assistance technicians, Meta’s vice president for southern Europe Laurent Solly told AFP.

The teaching method will be in-person and revolve around projects, with a focus on the 3D world and interactions in the virtual universes, said Frederic Bardeau, co-founder and boss of Simplon, the French firm working with Meta.

Located in the capital Paris and other cities including Lyon, Marseille and Nice, the metaverse academy will train 20 students per city each year.

Particular attention will be paid to diversity. Solly said the target was for 30 percent of the first cohort to be women, while Bardeau said he would not look at applicants’ CVs and endorse positive discrimination.

Last October, Meta said it intended to create 10,000 jobs in Europe in five years’ time to build the metaverse, the US technology giant’s new strategic priority.

The goal is tied to predictions that future job skills demanded by employers will be closely tied with the metaverse.

Meta and Simplon said 80 percent of the careers that will exist in 2030 have not been invented yet, highlighting the need to develop training schemes now.

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Meta’s future direction was subject to speculation last week, as it’s second-most powerful executive Sheryl Sandberg said that she would leave the tech giant after 14 years after.

Sandberg’s departure news comes as what started as an online social network rebrands itself to pivot toward the virtual vision it sees for the internet in the future.

The Silicon Valley colossus has seen its image tainted in recent years by accusations it has become of doing harm, putting profit over user privacy and even the good of society.

© AFP 2022

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